Like a lot of people I know with dogs, I take my pup almost everywhere. Heck, I even bring him to work with me. We’ve been to several places together over the last three years and this fall, we’ll head a little farther south into Kentucky for a hike near Red River Gorge. While many dogs can handle hiking, there are certainly a few things you should know before setting out.
Consult a Vet
Consulting a physician before starting at exercise program can apply to both you and your pet. A vet can determine if your dog is fit enough to hike, talk about what your dog’s actions mean, and help you compile an emergency kit, says Hill.
Choose the Right Location and Sport
National parks don’t allow dogs outside the parking lots and most wildlife refuges also ban pets. Also, be aware that rocky slopes can tear up a dog’s paws and don’t ride a bike while tethered to your dog. Use a dog trailer instead.
Pack a Thermometer
A rectal thermometer is a must for your dog on hiking trips. A temperature of 102-103 degrees in normal for a dog, but if the temperature climbs to 105 or higher, you need to get your dog to a vet. If the dog is distressed, panting heavily, drooling from its nose and mouth, or unsteady on its feet or if its gums are blue, purple or bright red, you need to cool the dog down by putting wet towels behind its neck and on its paws, groin and armpits. Be sure to give the animal plenty of water to drink and get it in the shade immediately.
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